Grant system delays causing home improvements backlog

Thu,7 April 2022
News Housing

Disabled people are facing years of waiting for home improvement work due to poor management of the Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG) system.

The Bureau of Investigative Journalism reports that the DFG scheme to help fund adaptations which improve accessibility and aid independent living is not meeting the government mandated timescale of 18 months for approval and completion in England and Wales (this does not include the time taken to secure an official needs assessment that must accompany applications to Local Authorities).

Data gathered from Freedom of Information requests sent to all UK Local Authorities and the Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE) showed a postcode lottery of days to months for completing assessments.

As councils are only required to record the average waiting times, the data indicates that Disabled people can easily be waiting for years for changes such as creating an accessible kitchen and wetroom.

DR UK Head of Policy Fazilet Hadi told the Bureau: “The current delays in the system are having a devastating impact on the lives of Disabled people and their families. Most people take bathing, cooking, and other everyday activities for granted, yet we are making Disabled people wait months and years for basic changes to our homes, which would enable us to live independently and safely.”